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Two separate meetings between Russian and Western officials to start Wed.

Updated: 2014-03-05 21:59:25 (KST)
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International leaders gathered for talks to ease tensions over the Ukraine crisis.
And before discussions the European Commission unveiled an aid package to Ukraine worth up to 15 billion U.S. dollars.
Russia agreed to meet with NATO in Brussels, Belgium, in the first public contact between Russia and NATO since Russia's forces moved into Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.
Also on the same day in Paris U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Surgei Lavrov planned talks to mitigate tensions in Ukraine.
Meeting for the first time since the unrest in Ukraine erupted the two are expected to meet on the sidelines of a planned conference on Lebanon.

Before traveling to France, Kerry stopped in Kiev to build a relationship with the country's new leadership.
After the meeting in Kiev, Kerry slammed Russia of an "act of aggression" in Crimea, but said he is not looking for a confrontation.

"Here in the streets today, I didn't see anybody who feels threatened, except for the potential of an invasion by Russia, so I would hope that President Putin, who you know if, who is insisting against all evidence everywhere in the world about troops being in Crimea that they are not there, that he will step back and listen carefully that we would like to see this de-escalated."

During his short trip to Kiev, Kerry offered an economic and technical loan package worth one billion U.S. dollars, to assist Ukraine's new government.
The United States also plans to send technical advisors to Ukraine to get the country's economy back on track.

Meanwhile in Russia, the defense ministry confirmed late Tuesday that it had test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier in the day, successfully landing at its target in a remote area of Kazakhstan.

Although the test was planned before the current crisis in Ukraine, and the U.S. was notified before the test, it adds to the undercurrent of tension between Ukraine and Russia.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.


Reporter : connie1223@arirang.co.kr

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